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Diving in to witness Coral Spawning on the Great Barrier Reef

13th of October 2023
Diving in to witness Coral Spawning on the Great Barrier Reef

Pro Dive Cairns will once again be giving divers a unique opportunity to witness the annual mass coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef with a special itinerary 3 Day/ 2 Night liveaboard adventure.

While nature is never a guarantee, the experts are predicting two possible mass coral spawning events on the Outer Reefs this year. Pro Dive Cairns liveaboard trips departing between 30 October - 3 November and 29 November - 2 December have the potential opportunity to witness this natural phenomena first hand. 

The special itinerary includes four night dives for an ultimate dive trip adventure.

What is Coral Spawning you say? You might hear it referred to as Sex on the Reef, or even an upsidedown snow storm! Coral spawning is an annual mass reproductive event where corals release egg and sperm bundles into the ocean for external fertilisation. This phenomenon was first witnessed on the GBR by marine biologists in 1982. It is vital to the Reef’s continual adaptation and long term survival. 

It usually occurs 2-6 days after the full moon in November or December. For spawning to occur, a variety of factors come in to play. We know the moon cycle and specific water temperatures (greater than 26 degrees celcius) play a role, but also tides, salinity levels and day length can also affect the timing. Spawning usually happens 2 - 3 hours after sunset, which scientists believe is timed to ensure most of the plankton feeders are asleep, creating a greater chance of pollination. And it’s nice and romantic too!